Published: January 3rd 2008December 14th 2007
It's the last day in Hong Kong, and by tomorrow morning we would be back in the sweet arms of Bangkok. We spent the afternoon exploring the Ladies Market and Jade Market in Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok. The crowd is never-ending, and even in the busiest peak period in Singapore you don't see such a great crowd walking up the stairs of the MTR Station ever.
The difference between the markets in Singapore and the ones in Hong Kong is that in my country, our markets are not a regular thing. We call them a "pasar malam" (means "night market" in Bahasa Melayu). Every few months, in the suburban areas we would have a night market selling fake CDs and VCDs (but never pornography, of course. This is Singapore), ugly clothes and shoes, nice unhealthy fried food, etc. I was so excited about it when I was young because of the pink cotton candy :) Occasionally they even had small amusement rides like a micromini Pirate Ship that I would almost give an arm and a leg for just one ride. But no matter what, there is hardly any haggling of prices. It is considered very "auntie" to bargain for prices whereas in Hong Kong this is so commonplace. Also, if you don't try to lower the price, you are the one who's the loser in the end.
So, anyway, Jade Market is just a market selling lots of cheap jade stuff, mostly fake. There are jade bangles at EVERY stall, so I guess this is one example of a perfectly competitive market (literally speaking). My love bought some sabers as presents while all I got was a pink teardrop pendant that I like a lot :)
Ladies Market, contrary to popular belief, doesn't just sell stuff for ladies. In fact, there's many things for kids and men too. But for me there's nothing really attractive about the market. I can't understand the big hype over it. Sure it's cheap, but I would rather save the money and buy something I like elsewhere instead.
In the deep night we caught the flight back to Bangkok (kinda "home sweet home" I guess!). It was tiring for us due to the time, and inconvenient to find the hotel as well.
We took a cab, and this is really when the adventure starts I think.
The cab driver was some ignorant, illiterate, and uneducated ass who drove us round and round the same place. Everytime we point out that the hotel is near SIAM (and it's only one goddamn syllable, for heaven's sake), he would say "OKAYYY! OKAYYY!" repeatedly and just drive us around to some other place again. And it's late in the night, so it's not as if the buildings are highly visible to our tired and sleepy eyes. We even had to stop at some remote building to ask ANOTHER PERSON for directions. Talk about transport efficiency. But turns out the person wasn't really helpful also. And so, after ONE WHOLE HOUR stuck with a conman cabbie, we got off and went to another cab. That's one good thing about Bangkok. Everything is so copious, even the cabs. They are like quick little mice scuttering around the city in the colours of the rainbow.
With all that moving and switching around in cabbie-land, I lost his favourite sweater and my only jacket :( It was so careless of me, and being exasperated and fed up with the cabbies didn't help matters. I felt so contrite losing his sweater...and when he asked me about it he sounded so cold and calm, like before a thunderstorm, so I couldn't tell if he was really angry. And then after that he turned face down in the bathtub and stayed there, scaring the hell outta me. I was so worried that this was the way he expressed his displeasure with me at losing his sweater, and he was so heavy to pull up from the bathtub. It was quite possibly the first time I felt such panic and fear for someone.
The hotel was excellent, very amazing amenities, spectacular view of the Bangkok skyline, lovely decor.
But maybe only after a $10 million investment.